Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

The Gun Problem

I appreciate David Cole's article,  "Facing the Real Gun Problem" in the June 20th, 2013, New York Review of Books.

As inspiration to do something, he suggests we read Joe Nocera's blog, The Gun Report.  Check it out: http://nocera.blogs.nytimes.com

One example from the blog that feels close to home is from the SF Chronicle. A woman was shot and killed in front of her 4-year old son at 8:43 PM just blocks from Oakland Children's Hospital.   This was Oakland's fourth homicide in the week of April 26.

Cole points out that "every year, about twice as many people are killed in the United States by guns than die of terrorist attacks worldwide.  Americans face a one in 3.5 million chance of being killed in a terrorist attack, but a one in 22,000 chance of being murdered."

I know I'm preaching to the choir here and I know that even though "polls report that 85 percent of Americans, and 81 percent of gun owners, favor universal background checks", the Senate rejected a bill to close loopholes, and we know this, and I forget.

"The U.S. firearms homicide rate is twenty times higher than the combined rate of the next twenty-two high-income developed nations."

Solutions he suggests.  First, "abandon efforts to ban assault weapons."   Most of the deaths occur with ordinary handguns, so focus there, and don't alienate those who are sure their rights are being taken away by any talk of gun control.   Second, close background check loopholes.  Third, stricter gun safety regulations.  (In May, a five-year old boy in Kentucky accidentally shot and killed his two-year old sister with a gun his parents gave him for his birthday, and stored loaded and unlocked.)  Fourth, decriminalize drugs, and focus on "better public education, after-school programs, job training, and employment opportunities".

Both sides need to talk to each other, and maybe then, we can begin to reduce numbers that put us in the realm of statistics so unfathomable that anyone who reads them cannot begin to understand.  

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